Friday, 31 July 2015

Young Guns "Ones And Zeros" (2015)

Trying to stay out of the rain at Download Festival I caught this band, one of the secret acts, on the forth stage. I was sucked in by there performance and stage presence. Upbeat, bold, energetic and poppy they certainly put on a show that at the time I knew wasn't exactly my cup of tea but I enjoyed it none the less. Young Guns are an English five-piece group who play enigmatic Alternative Rock with reverb heavy metallic tones and poppy hooks. Their sound is both generalized and accessible, as it is distinct and a tinge on the heavy side.

"Ones And Zeros" is their third full length record and as a whole a powerful, absorbing record if their dreamy, pop epic aesthetic is to your taste. In my case it very much was on the aesthetic front, however the pop hooks and overuse of "woah-oh-oh-oh" vocal inflections really killed of a lot of the enjoyment to be had. There's a lot of good tracks in here, beautiful numbers that soar and glow as epically strum instruments collide in a wash of noisy bliss. Its the poppy undercurrent that at times get under my skin. There's too many moments where the group trade in the progression for cheap hooks and breaks that really break the spell, often with the backing vocals throwing in reinforcing, distant "ah-oh-ah-oh" chants that by the end of the record are driving me mad as the last few tracks seem to ramp up there use.

If it wasn't for my dislike of these choices id be really into this record, there's a lot of the magic I saw live and the aesthetic of the instruments, their chemistry with singer Gustav's strong, velvety voice a real treat for the ears. The production is a typical flawless modern capture that gives so much space for each instrument to fill and with little technical issues to talk about its sound is fitting of the big, lofty, glistening sounds the group create. Its a shame the rely so much on the cheap thrills of trending poppy styles, but between those moments there is substance to be found.

Favorite Songs: Rising Up, Memento Mori, Lullaby, Daylight
Rating: 5/10